The Cubs made history Tuesday in San Diego when all four infielders started for the National League. Ben Zobrist batted leadoff. Kris Bryant hit a home run off Chris Sale. Anthony Rizzo had hit in two plate appearances and helped setup the NL’s second run. And Addison Russell just missed a three-run homer in two at-bats.
The National League lost 4-2 to the American League in what was a fun All-Star Game.
Kris Bryant went 1-for-2 with a home run in his first start in an All-Star Game. Bryant appeared in his second Midsummer Classic in his first full season in the big leagues.
Bryant was 0-for-6 in his career against Chris Sale with six strikeouts before Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Bryant launched Sale’s first pitch out to left and the solo homer gave the NL a 1-0 lead over the AL in the first inning. Bryant said before the game Sale was the toughest pitcher he’s faced in the majors.
Bryant pointed out after the game the homer “really doesn’t count” and that he’s still 0-for-6 with six strikeouts against Sale.
The Cubs and Sox square off for four games in the Crosstown Series (July 25-26 at The Cell, July 27-28 at Wrigley). The Cubs will get the best Chris Sale has to offer in one of those four games. The Sox treat those games a lot differently from the Cubs.
Here are more tidbits from Tuesday’s All-Star Game …
• Kris Bryant was the first Cubs’ player to homer in an All-Star Game since Alfonso Soriano in 2007. Bryant’s homer off Chris Sale sailed 410 feet with a 110.8 mph exit velocity, second hardest ball hit off Sale all season.
• Kris Bryant joined Alfonso Soriano (2007), Andre Dawson (1991), Billy Williams (1964), George Altman (1961), Ernie Banks (1960), Hank Sauer (1952) and Augie Galan (1936) as the eighth Cubs player to homer in an All-Star Game.
• Kris Bryant became the youngest Cub to hit a home run in the All-Star Game since Augie Galan in 1936.
• Kris Bryant became the second Cubs’ player to hit a home run in the first inning of an All-Star Game. Ernie Banks hit a home run off Bill Monbouquette on July 11, 1960.
• Ben Zobrist became the third Cub and first to start and hit leadoff for the NL in the All-Star Game in over 70 years. Stan Hack (1943) was the last Cub to leadoff an All-Star Game. Hack hit lead off for the NL four times (1938, 1939, 1941, 1943). Augie Galan batted leadoff for the NL in 1936.
• Tuesday marked the second time in team history four Cubs started an All-Star Game. 2016: Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell 1936: Augie Galan, Babe Herman, Frank Demaree, Gabby Harnett
- Bruce Levine – Kris Bryant evens the score with Chris Sale
- Comcast Sports Net – Cubs: Father’s advice leads to Kris Bryant’s All-Star homer off White Sox ace Chris Sale
- Comcast SportsNet – Addison Russell: Special as Cubs entire infield starts the All-Star Game
- The Tribune – Kris Bryant’s home run against Chris Sale highlights Chicago’s fun night at All-Star Game
- The Tribune – Star turn for Cubs’ Kris Bryant is all part of the plan
- The Tribune – Chris Sale is ready to face Kris Bryant again in City Series
Clayton Richard made his second rehab start for Double-A Tennessee on Tuesday night. Richard took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in three innings. The Smokies were shutout 4-0 by the Lookouts.
Richard did not walk a batter and struck out one on 43 pitches, 28 for strikes. And according to Justin Rocke, Richard had a better outing than the stats indicate. Two of the four hits he allowed were infield singles and the triple he gave up could have been caught.
Clayton Richard is 0-1 in two starts for the Smokies with a 3.52 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. In 7 2/3 innings, Richard has allowed three runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Between four starts in Double- and Triple-A, Richard is 0-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.79 WHIP (three runs, eight hits, two walks, 10 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings).
Clayton Richard turned Tuesday’s game over to Brian Matusz.
Brian Matusz was activated from Triple-A Iowa’s disabled list Tuesday and assigned to Double-A Tennessee.
Matusz completed 3 1/3 innings in relief of Clayton Richard and allowed one run on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Matusz made 63 pitches, 41 for strikes.
According to Justin Rocke, Brian Matusz’s fastball sat in the 90-91 mph range and featured a slider with “good bite.” Matusz also threw an effective changeup in the sixth inning. Matusz’s fastball was consistently in the 90-91 mph range, slider in the 84-85 mph range and “one of the few changes he threw was around 81 mph.”
The Cubs are stretching out Brian Matusz. Tuesday was his longest outing since he completed six innings on July 30, 2012 with Triple-A Norfolk.
Brian Matusz made two appearances for the AZL Cubs. In five innings, Matusz allowed one hit, no runs and struck out six with one walk.
The Cubs have not addressed how long Matusz will be in the minors before they feel he will be able to contribute at the Major League level.
Tony Gwynn and Rod Carew
Major League Baseball hit a home run with the decision it made to honor two of the greats of the game.
Before the All-Star Game, MLB Baseball announced the American League batting crown will be known as ‘The Rod Carew American League Batting Champion Award.’ And the National League batting crown will be known as ‘The Tony Gwynn National League Batting Champion Award.’
News, Notes and Rumors
• Tim Brown explained why the Cubs think they’ll be just fine.
• Anthony Rizzo told Comcast SportsNet that the Cubs ‘have a sense of urgency’ after recent slide.
• Anthony Rizzo played piano for Brett Eldredge … and Comcast SportsNet posted the video to prove it.
• Anthony Rizzo leads Major League Baseball first basemen in defensive runs saved.
• ESPN Chicago posted video of Jake Arrieta explaining why he wanted the rest instead of pitching in the All-Star Game.
• The Tribune reported Manny Machado sees greatness in Albert Almora Jr.
• According to Ken Rosenthal, while the Royals wouldn’t say it “some of their people drew extra satisfaction Tuesday night from the home runs that Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez hit off NL starter Johnny Cueto.” Cueto didn’t exactly endure himself with his teammates in Kansas City after the trade from the Reds.
• Tuesday was the first time in 70 starts Johnny Cueto allowed two homers in the same inning. The Cubs were the last team to hit a pair of home runs off Cueto in the same inning. Chris Coghlan and Ryan Sweeney took him deep on July 8, 2014. The Cubs lost game one of the doubleheader 4-2 at Great American.
• Home Run Derby featuring pitchers will be considered in 2017 according to a report from ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
• Cliff Corcoran posted the Anti-All-Stars, or MLB’s worst of the worst from the first half.
• Mark DeRosa and Sean Casey posted an MLB first half recap on the Players’ Tribune.
• The Yankees told Andrew Miller they would trade him “if an offer blew them away” according to a report from Hardball Talk.
• According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are interested in Padres’ lefty Drew Pomeranz and have done background work on him. The Rangers “have checked on most of available pitching.”
• The Brewers claimed RHP Rob Scahill off waivers from the Pirates and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Reds claimed Donn Roach off waivers from the Cubs
2014 – Javier Baez hit a two-run homer in the SiriusXM Futures Game
2013 – Cubs selected Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants
1988 – D.J. LeMahieu, born
1987 – Cubs traded Steve Trout to the Yankees for Rich Schneid, Bob Tewksbury and Dean Wilkins
1977 – A blackout engulfs the New York area with the Cubs leading the Mets 2-1 in the sixth inning at Shea Stadium. The game is completed on Sept. 16 and the Cubs won 4-3 behind Ray Burris.
1966 – Cubs signed free agent Robin Roberts
1956 – Ernie Banks played in his 394th consecutive game and ties Al Simmons’ record for consecutive games played by a rookie to start his career. Mr. Cub drove in the winning run as the Cubs topped the Pirates 7-6 at Wrigley Field
1959 – Cubs purchased Art Schult from the Red Sox
1957 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Harvey Branch
1956 – Bill Caudill, born
1916 – Cubs purchased Joe Kelly from Indianapolis for the American Association for cash, plus two PTBNL